Faraday Wave Pattern Formation
Department of Engineering Sciences and Applied Mathematics
When a fluid layer is subjected to a vertical vibration of sufficient strength then standing waves can form on its surface. These waves are the result of a symmetry-breaking instability and can take the form of beautiful spatial patterns first described by Michael Faraday in 1831. Recent experiments have revealed that the form of these wave patterns can be manipulated by suitably choosing the frequency components in the periodic forcing function. I will describe a mathematical framework for understanding this pattern control scheme, which is based in equivariant bifurcation theory.